Over the years, UX process and methodologies has grown to pretty mature level where stakeholders are realizing the need for the same and many of us have included this in software lifecycle while planning the project, which is really good step. Understanding business is key, but more than that understanding your users is more important.
Now as the scope of UX is not just limited to web, the extension is now devices, right from smart phones to iPads to tablets, everyone wants to have experience which they will be not only be happy using it but also enjoy a lot using it.
So how does company start a product or putting any idea to realization?
• FEAR : They first realize we must innovate to survive
• They quickly set up a design team to come up with research and screens design
• Design team prepares some questions, interacts with stakeholders, does some analysis with end users to get feedback and comes up with massive documentation (research) and pass this to all and start designing
Theoretically perfect start for any project but then again many questions prop up:
• What if the concept works perfect in Lab but has no commercial value?
• What is market condition have changed since the original learning took place?
Need of hour is a quick analysis of the concept engaging everyone in the process before even getting it to shape. How? Here comes LEAN UX: A Cross-functional collaboration that brings non-designers, tech team and stakeholders into design process
Lean UX Process
The goal of Lean UX is to find the quickest way to identify and design features that matter most to the target customer.
In Simple words, here are some fundamental elements for Lean UX
• Find the core features that matter most to customer and find them at the cheapest possible cost.
• Moving as quickly as possible through the “build-measure-learn” loop also called as “think-make-check”
• Exposing the product directly to target users early and often (through rough sketches)
• Developing “minimum viable products.” Moving through the loop often does not require building an actual product.
• Clickable prototypes, presentations, screen mockups, and other low-fidelity techniques often work well.
Task: To design proposal management system for leading marketing research company catering to researchers throughout their globe presence
Lean Approach Steps used:
• After understanding the whole requirements from the stake holder started to list down all the tasks first
• Identifying the key task or most widely used task, i.e. creating proposal structure
• Listing out problem areas of the task and starting to sketch the concept, creating various options to simplify the task
• Brainstorming with stakeholders and tech guys on the concept with the help of persona
• Went back and forth with the sketching exercise to get the desirable options
• Ran the concepts with the researchers (actual end users) to understand from them if this would simplify things and if there are any flaws in it.
• Taking the feedback and going back to the drawing board and iterating
• Again brainstorming with stakeholders and running the same with actual end users again
• Final Wireframes for the task done
• Visual Mockups
• HTML/CSS to developers
• POC developed for the task
Visual Mockup and HTML
We went on using same methodology for all other tasks,
• Sketch the concept
• Discuss/debate on it
• Validate with users
• Iterate and finally design
Doing so we managed to build complete walkthrough prototype in HTML which was not only useful for developers to follow without reading much of documentation, but also was handy for the stakeholders to showcase the design to as many people even before it went to development.
Core Lean UX principles which we followed during this were:
• Cross-Functional Teams (Designers, Developers, Architects, Stakeholders)
• Small, Dedicated, Collocated
• Progress = Outcomes, Not Output
• Problem-Focused Teams
• Continuous Discovery
• Shared Understanding
• Learning over Growth
• Permission to Fail